Lakewater Press: Why pantomime figures at Christmas for author Susan Pape


Last but not least: it’s the final day of the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop and time to introduce author Susan Pape.

Since the beginning of December we’ve been sharing Christmas Q&As with our authors and the behind the pages team who help make their books shine.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know us and look forward to getting to know some of you a next year.

For now Happy Christmas and Happy Reading to one and all.

And don’t forget to enter our holiday giveaway at the bottom of the page.

Today’s intervieweeSusan Pape, author

Your blog (url):

Where do you live? I live on the site of an old lunatic asylum (yes, it really was called that) in Menston, between Ilkley and Leeds in West Yorkshire.  Continue reading

Lakewater Press: Take a stroll through the bluebell woods at YSP with Sue Featherstone


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Christnas is just three days away and it’s almost the last stop on the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop.

Between December 1 and the 24th we’ve been sharing holiday interviews with the Lakewater team of authors and staff.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed getting to know us better and, perhaps, we’ve tempted you to try some of our books.

Don’t forget to enter the holiday giveaway at the bottom of the page.


Today’s interviewee: Sue Featherstone (author)

Your blog (url):

Where do you live? I live in Wakefield, just a stone’s throw from Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the UK’s leading outdoor art gallery, and the award-winning Hepworth Gallery, which together with their sister galleries – Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute, both in Leeds – constitute the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.

The Hepworth, which has been described as the museum everyone would want on their doorstep, is artistically inspiring but I prefer YSP.

Set in 500 acres of parkland, just a mile-and-a-bit up the road from me, it’s home to one of the largest outdoor collections of Henry Moore bronzes.

bluebell woods

Find out more at:

Frankly, some of them are a bit weird – but, unlike other outdoor art galleries, the park hosts a changing programme of exhibitions so there’s always something new to see. And, come spring, nothing beats a stroll through the beautiful bluebell woods.

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? Hopefully, slim to non-existent: other parts of the UK (Scotland, for instance) often get snow in December but, thankfully, it’s fairly rare in my part of Yorkshire.

I understand the bookies have offered odds of 4/5 on a white Christmas but it’s not a bet I’m prepared to risk.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? Santa always used to leave a little note for my daughters thanking them for his mince pie and sherry. It was years before they recognised my handwriting…

Egg nog: Yes or No? Hmmm…egg nog is not very big in the UK although we do have an Irish cream liquer which is similar but not as virulently yellow.

And tastes better too.

It can be drunk neat at room temperature or some people like to add it to their coffee. I prefer it in a long tumbler, chilled with a couple of ice cubes.

Oooh, I wouldn’t mind a glass right now.

Are you an artistic gift wrapper or a basic “paper & tape” warrior? Definitely a warrior rather than an artist. Prettily wrapped gifts are a joy to behold but, honestly, I just can’t be bothered.

Life is too short to stuff a mushroom and it’s also too short to fiddle around with Christmas bows and ribbons.

Do you have any special holiday memories that include books? Are there any specific titles you remember? Books are a very personal thing and, I think, a difficult gift to get right. One woman’s good read is someone else’s charity shop donation.

Great Expectation 2Take Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, for instance, which I was given as a child. Please, take it: I still think it’s a huge shame Magwitch didn’t bop Pip on the head and spare us all the agony of his interminable wittering.

What is your earliest book-related memory? Well, my earliest memories of reading are at the breakfast table: corn, sugar, salt, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine…the contents of a packet of Corn Flakes.

Otherwise I loved almost anything by Enid Blyton – wouldn’t you have liked to be a pupil at Malory Towers too?

I also enjoyed Noel Streatfeild (Ballet Shoes, The Painted Garden), Jane Shaw (the Susan books) and Elinor Brent Dyer (the Chalet School series).

As I got older I started to read some of the books on my dad’s bookshelves – Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason), Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple) and Nevil Shute (The Chequer Board and A Town like Alice).

Sad CypressMy first Christie read was Sad Cypress, which I still regard as one of her best murder mysteries.

Do you write/work during the holidays? Yes – if the writing itch needs scratching, I scratch.

Can you share what you’re working on now? I was lucky enough to sell my first short story to People’s Friend, a UK fiction magazine, a few weeks ago. It will be published in their Christmas special – in 2018. I can’t wait.

The fiction editor was very encouraging and I’m hoping to write, and sell, more stories this year. I’ve got a couple of ideas bubbling away right now.

friends cover (500x800) (2)And Susan and I are in the early stages of drafting the final instalment of our Friends trilogy.

We’ve also started a murder mystery but I’m not completely happy with the way it’s going and a re-think is needed. (Must make sure I mention this to Susan before she reads it here!)

What are your goals for 2018? Professionally, I want to get the Friends trilogy wrapped up and then to knock the murder mystery into shape.

I like the characters we’ve created – they have a lot of potential for development but I’m not sure we’re making the best use of them.

Lac Hourtin

The view across Lac Hourtin – we’ll be holdaying nearby this summer

So, there’s food for thought there.

I also want to work on my short story writing and I’d like to do a bit of freelance journalism too.

Personally, apart from planning a trip to Australia to visit my youngest daughter, a couple of camping holidays in France and a spa trip with my eldest daughter I’m open to suggestions. Any ideas?

Links to all the Lakewater Press participating blogs:

Barbara Quinn

Emma (E.L.) Wicker

James L. Weaver

Jodi Gallegos

Mia Kerick

Rebecca Carpenter

R.L. Martinez

Sam Boush

Samantha (S.C.) Alban

Sue Featherstone

Susan Pape

Enter the Lakewater Press giveaway for your chance to win a book of your choice (5 winners to be selected):

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Lakewater Press: assistant editor Samantha Alban gets on board for Christmas


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Christmas is just five days away and on the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop  it’s time to say hello to assistant editor Samantha Alban, who writes as SC Alban, and shares her Californian home with her family, three cats and three (terribly) lazy guard dogs.


Don’t forget: read to the end to enter our holiday giveaway.

Today’s interviewee: assistant editor Samantha Alban

blog (url):

Where do you live? Sonoma County, California

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? Most likely 0%, but who knows…this year has been full of weather surprises!

Samantha AlbanDo you have any favorite holiday traditions? I love setting up the train around my Christmas tree.

Last year I even bought liquid smoke for it!

I was heartbroken when it broke down and I spent days trying to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

After the fourth (I think) day, I finally Continue reading

Lakewater Press: Writing is in the blood for Witchbreed series author RL Martinez


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It’s the eight day of the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop and we hope you’re enjoying these introductions to the team.

We’re a diverse bunch spread across Australia, the United States and the UK.

Today the spotlight is on Oklahoma-based RL Martinez, author of the magical Witchbreed fantasy series and one of the first authors to sign to Lakewater Press.

Book one In the Blood was published in 2016 and book two Beneath the Skin followed earlier this year.

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway.

Today’s interviewee: author RL Martinez

Your blog (url):

Where do you live? Central Oklahoma

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? Meh, Oklahoma is tricky. So, I’d say about 50%, just to be on the safe side.  Continue reading

Viewpoint: Seven books I won’t be reading again


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Let’s buck the trend: over the next few weeks reviewers all over the blogsphere and beyond will be posting Christmas and end-of-year round-ups of their favourite books of 2017.

Personally, I’m always glad to be reminded of the lovely books waiting to be read.

But what I don’t need – and I’m sure you don’t either – are those depressing listicles where m’learned friend presents a catalogue of GOOD BOOKS that everyone should read at least once in their life.

The lecture – for that’s essentially what it is – usually begins by claiming that the curated collection has stood the test of time for a reason.  Continue reading

Lakewater Press: take flight with Rebecca Carpenter, author of the YA Metamorphosis trilogy


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Day seven of the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop: as some of you know the Lakewater team is spread over three continents – Australia, Europe and the US.

We’ve never all been in the same room together so these holiday interviews are proving an  excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, as well as giving our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages.

Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book.

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway.

Today’s interviewee: Rebecca Carpenter, author of  the Metamorphosis trilogy and copy editor for Lakewater Press

Your blog (url):

Where do you live? In the state of craziness and senility. But if you must have a physical place, Grand Junction, Colorado (the western slope of Colorado) is where I’ve called home my entire life.

RebeccaAs a matter of fact, the hospital where I was born later became an Alzheimer’s unit where I worked in my late teens.

Is it an omen? I don’t think I can base anything off …where was I going with this thought?

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? I’d say there’s about a 50/50 chance for snow on Christmas day. But I’d sure like to increase those odds. Continue reading

Review: She had her life worked out, then an unexpected act changed everything

Eleanor Oliphant taught herself how to survive – but she doesn’t know how to live. This unsettling story shows an extraordinary young woman locked in a way of life that provides the only sort of security she knows.

It’s a life of absolute routine: wearing the same clothes every day, eating the same meal deal at lunchtimes, and drinking two bottles of vodka every weekend. Continue reading

Lakewater Press: YA author Mia Kerick shares her family’s Christmas traditions


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The Christmas countdown continues with day six of the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop.

Since the beginning of December we’ve been sharing holiday interviews with our authors and  Lakewater Press staff.

It’s an opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, as well as giving our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages.

Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book.

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway.

Today’s interviewee: Mia Kerick, a YA author of LGBTQ fiction.

Mia KerrickHello everyone: I’m looking forward to the Lakewater Press release of All Boy in October 2018.

I can hardly wait! (Not particularly patient here.) I LOVE my characters Jayden and Callie. Their story needs to be told.

Your blog (url): I have recently created a new YA blog: 

I had so much fun putting it together – I used a “diverse people” theme, which runs throughout the blog. Check out all of the tiny adorable people illustrations on each page—they are EVERYWHERE!  Continue reading

Review: Treat yourself to Marie Gameson’s quirky tale of the deceased Mr Gadd



Mr GaddA word of advice: make sure you set aside plenty of time to read Marie Gameson’s quirky, slightly perplexing, story of The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased).

At 265 pages, it’s not an especially long book but I guarantee that as soon as you read the last ambiguous sentence, you’ll want to go right back to the beginning and start all over again.

This is probably one of the most intriguing novels I’ve read in a long time. And hard to pigeon-hole too.  Continue reading